Make us your home page
Instagram

Local opthalmologist's Web app designed to reduce surgical errors

SPRING HILL — Maybe a patient's left eyelid required a surgical lift, but the right eyelid was excised instead. Or the right toe was to be straightened, and the left went under the scalpel.

"It's rare, but it does happen," said Dr. Srin Dutt, an eye physician and surgeon at Eye- care Centers of Florida, who has developed an iOS app to preclude such errors.

The app, known as Site of Surgery Assistant, is available for free from the Mac App Store.

One wrong-site procedure occurs for every 100,000 surgeries, according to the American Medical Association.

"We want it to be one of those 'never events,' " said Dutt, an ophthalmologist.

Having practiced in Hernando County for 10 years, Dutt said he has never seen such a mistake made, "but we hear of it."

Over the course of a year, he developed the app, essentially a template, into which a physician inserts a patient's data, the surgical procedure being performed and, most importantly, a graphic of the site. Everything is computer-printed on an armband the patient wears into the operating room.

The site graphic is highlighted to attract attention. The patient is asked to review the data and sign it, along with the doctor. The signatures are also printed on the armband.

Dutt, a graduate of the University of Michigan and its medical school, has been using the application with surgical patients, some 100 of them, at the Hernando Endoscopy and Surgery Center since January. Several other ophthalmologists at the center have adopted it, too.

Said Dr. Damodar Kanuri, the center's director: "I think it's a great application for protecting patients from any possible wrong-site procedures. At the end of the day, it's for patients' safety."

Patients, Kanuri added, feel it enhances the level of safety.

"It's all about the pictorial data," he said. "The way the mind processes information is much better with graphics. Also, they realize what's going to be done in a visual manner instead of just signing papers."

Because patients are asked to review and sign the data, they have a role in what's happening, Dutt noted. Patient reviews, he added, have been positive.

Dutt and his professional staff are intent on getting out word of the app. While prospective surgical patients might not download the app at home, with awareness they might suggest it to their surgeons, Dutt said.

As for providing the app for free, the modest doctor said he just wanted to provide something useful to improve the quality of medical care.

The next step is to apply the application to other surgeries. The template includes graphics of hands, feet and the entire body as well as the head. Custom graphics can be added as well.

"Hopefully," Dutt pointed out, "it will be good for any site where there are bilateral organs."

News of Site of Surgery Assistant has been featured in the professional magazine Ophthalmology Business. Articles about the app also are scheduled to appear in the October issues of Ophthalmic Professional and Ophthalmology Times.

Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]

Local opthalmologist's Web app designed to reduce surgical errors 09/06/16 [Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2016 2:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]